I hope this email finds you all healthy and in good spirits. Personally I have never experienced a time like this before. I know that we all need to self-isolate to flatten the infection curve, but that does not really make it easier or less stressful for me. I shall miss not getting together with you as planned tomorrow for our March Italian Meeting.
I wanted you to know that our language classes will go online for the Spring term, April 7 - June 5. You can get more information and register on our website: https://danteseattle.org/italian-language-program/classes/.
Here's a message from Giuseppe Tassone, our Language School Director, to continuing and perspective students.
The commitment of all of us at the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington’s Italian Program is to bring you one step closer to Italy with our Italian lessons, and it couldn’t be stronger in this trying time, when unfortunately we can’t be close to our Italian friends, and each other, physically.
That’s why, taking into account the precious feedback received from our students, we decided to promptly switch over our offer from in-person to online lessons, knowing that the passion for the Italian language and all things Italian, yours and ours, cannot and will not be stopped. Although we know that an online classroom is not the same as an in-person lesson, all the teachers of the Italian Program are determined to do everything they can to make this new learning experience as exciting, inspiring, educative, fun and effective as our lessons have always been.
We will keep a close eye on the rapid evolution of the situation and adjust accordingly, and while we continue to look into new ways to improve our offer even through this new means, this is how we are planning to proceed for the upcoming Spring quarter:
Students will interact with their instructor and peers though the video conferencing Zoom platform. The instructor will present in real time the structures and/or vocabulary listed in the syllabus with the support of Zoom Whiteboard among other tools and students will be able to ask questions for clarifications. Follow up exercises will be provided: some during the online connection and other to be completed remotely. The instructor will provide for each online lesson opportunities for conversation as a class and in groups with the aid of images, guided interviews and other aids. Additional features of the online lessons are: PPT, audio and video and audio files and readings.
At the beginning of each online session, the teacher will share the content of the lesson with the students. The duration of the live portion of each online lesson can vary from 60 to 90 minutes in order to maximize attention, and in case of a 60 minute lesson alternative activities will be provided for the remaining 30 minutes.
As always, your feedback is a vital factor in delivering the best learning experience possible, so we are excited to hear your opinions throughout the duration of this new online setup.
Thank you for continuing to share your passion for the language and the country we all love, especially in this moment.
Take care - statemi bene!
A presto -
Dan DeMatteis, President, Dante Alighieri Society of Washington